Theological students prepare for cross-culture jumps

The three participants in the 2009 Theological Students International Internship Program (TSIIP) are in transition: Jeffrey Hooper and Michelle Taylor are returning to Canada from Uganda on April 22 and Nicolas Alexandre will travel to the Philippines on May 11.

Jeff Hooper preaches at an outdoor service near Kabale, Uganda.
Jeff Hooper preaches at an outdoor service near Kabale, Uganda.

Through TSIIP, Canadian Anglican theological students are placed with an overseas Anglican diocese for three months. They learn how local ministry works and help out wherever they can—visiting parishioners, supporting church services, or preaching.

Jeffrey Hooper, a theological student at Wycliffe College in Toronto, Ont., was based in the Ugandan diocese of West Ankole with his wife, veterinarian Michelle Taylor. While Mr. Hooper supported the spiritual work of the diocese, Ms. Taylor taught at a local college alongside another Canadian Anglican volunteer, the Rev. Dr. Carolyn Langford (also, coincidentally, a veterinarian).

Michelle Taylor teaches Mothers' Union workers how to use a solar oven.
Michelle Taylor teaches Mothers’ Union workers how to use a solar oven.

On their lively blog, the Hooper-Taylors recorded their adventures, including episodes on impromptu sermon preparationcreative offeringsfarming techniques, and building solar ovens from tinfoil and cardboard.

While the couple are on their way home, Mr. Alexandre is outward bound. A student at the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad in Saskatoon, Sask. he will work with the Episcopal Church in the Philippines until August.

Cross-cultural transitions, whether overseas or back home, can be disorienting. The Canadian Churches’ Forum for Global Ministries hosted a pre-trip seminar for the students, and will host another debriefing weekend in October.

If you’re a Canadian Anglican theological student who’s interested in learning about Anglican ministry overseas, contact Clementina Thomas by email or phone:(416) 924-9199 ext. 361. Previous TSIIP participants have travelled to Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Grenada.

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